Antioxidants in foods

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Antioxidants in foods . By: Adiba Hasnat. So what is an antioxidant? . There is a hint in the name anti - oxidant . In a nutshell an antioxidant is a molecule that prevents the oxidation of other molecules by allowing itself to be oxidized instead They can be nutrients and enzymes - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


<p>Antioxidants in foods</p> <p>Antioxidants in foods By: Adiba HasnatThere is a hint in the name anti-oxidant. In a nutshell an antioxidant is a molecule that prevents the oxidation of other molecules by allowing itself to be oxidized insteadThey can be nutrients and enzymes Oxidation is a chemical reaction within a redox reaction where a molecule loses its electrons to an oxidizing agent </p> <p>(What are antioxidants?, 2001) So what is an antioxidant? </p> <p>In our normal biological processes that undergo oxidation (such as digestion, cellular respiration and metabolism) as a byproduct we produce a high amount of free radicalsFree radicals are unstable, highly reactive atoms or molecules free floating in our body that have a charge because they are missing one or more electrons or have one too many </p> <p>(Healthwise, 2009)Why do we need antioxidants in our body? Free radical examples:O2- superoxide anionOH- hydroxyl radicaltransition metals such as iron and coppernitric acidozone</p> <p>3Why are free radicals so dangerous?1. Free radicals are unstable and highly reactive the one that are negatively charged will most likely steal the electrons it needs from other stable molecules in the body (oxidization)2. When the free radical becomes reduced the stable molecule it oxidized now becomes a free radical itself and this will onset a chain reaction of redox reactions 3. This chain reaction will go on to disrupt many important processes that occur in the cell and the body in general </p> <p>CHAIN REACTION(Healthwise, 2009)Antioxidants prevent oxidation of stable compounds by neutralizing free radicals. </p> <p>2 methods: </p> <p>Chain-breaking when a free radical initiates a chain reaction an antioxidant molecule such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and E stabilizes the radical by providing it with the electron it needs to become neutral. In the process of neutralizing the free radical the antioxidant becomes oxidized and therefore needs to be continuously replaced. </p> <p>Preventive is the method that uses antioxidant enzymes like superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase to prevent oxidation by reducing the amount of initiating free radicals that exist in the first place. </p> <p>(WebMD, 2006)How do antioxidants work?Because antioxidants are oxidized in the process of neutralizing free radicals they need to be constantly replenished. They bodys method of replenishing its necessary supply of antioxidants is by obtaining these important molecules through the foods that we eat. Antioxidant relation to food</p> <p>Vitamin E is the most abundant fat-soluble antioxidant in the body. - It is a general name for all the different isomers of tocopherol </p> <p>EX. alpha-tocopherol is a specific isomer that helps protect cell membranes (which are mostly fatty acids) from damage by free radicals Foods: nuts and seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oil and liver oil. </p> <p>(Parnes, 2002) Antioxidant: Vitamin E </p> <p>Vitamin C is the most abundant water-soluble antioxidant used in the body- It acts primarily in cellular fluid and neutralizes free radicals in that watery environment </p> <p>Foods: citrus fruits, green peppers, leafy green vegetables, strawberries and tomatoes.</p> <p>(Parnes, 2002) </p> <p>Antioxidant: Vitamin C </p> <p>Beta-carotene another water-soluble antioxidant used in the body</p> <p>Target function: maintain eye health </p> <p>Foods: orange coloured foods -- carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkin, apricots, squash and mango, kale, collard greens, spinach</p> <p>(Parnes, 2002) </p> <p>Antioxidant: Beta-carotene</p> <p>Antioxidants prevent the harmful effects free radicals have on the bodys natural processes and functions </p> <p>Oxidative stress an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen(a radical) and the bodys ability to reduce the amounts of harmful radicals present or repair the damage that they cause. (Worden, 2011)</p> <p>Due to the undesired oxidization, free radicals cause: Destruction of cell membrane (fatty acids) and proteins DNA mutation caused by the oxidation of important sections of DNA strandsPrematurely age skin by causing the breakdown of collagen in skin cells (Healthwise, 2009)</p> <p>What damaging processes do Antioxidants prevent?Even though there are many benefits to using antioxidants, too much can also cause harm. 1. Too much antioxidants:Increase the risk of mortality Increase the risk of cardiovascular disease increased risk of hemorrhagic strokeWhy? The body produces its own antioxidants so adding too many external antioxidants can disrupt the homeostatic balance your body tries to maintain which leads to complications.</p> <p>(Coila, 2011) </p> <p>Risks of antioxidants </p> <p>1. Reduce the amount of free radicals in your body2. Reduce the risk of developing certain diseases such as; cancer, heart disease, stroke, cataracts, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and arthritis (Phillip, 2012)3. Prevent direct cell damage caused by the chain reaction that free radicals initiate 4. Reduce the signs of aging by preventing the oxidation of your skin cells 5. Improves digestion 6. Relieves asthma and allergy symptoms (Antioxidants for health and longevity, 2009)</p> <p>Benefits of Antioxidants </p> <p>What are antioxidants? (2001). Retrieved March 20, 2013, from fitday: for health and longevity. (2009). Health Benefits of Antioxidants. Retrieved March 24, 2013, from Antioxidants for health and longevity:, B. (2011, June 27). Live strong . Retrieved March 20, 2013, from The Effects of Too Much Antioxidants: (2009, April 14). Retrieved March 24, 2013, from What Free Radicals Do To Our Body and Health!:, R. (2002, November 26). Antioxidants. Retrieved from How stuff works:, J. (2012, October 20). Diet high in antioxidants slashes heart disease risk in women. Retrieved March 20, 2013, from Natural news:, L. (2006, April 22). How antioxidants work. Retrieved March 20, 2013, from Web MD:, J. (2011, November 31). Antioxidants and oxidative stress. Retrieved March 24, 2013, from Netdoctor:</p> <p>References </p>